Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fly Fishing Blue Plains

Dale and I went out on an exploratory trip on my boat a few weeks back. It was the first venture out in the boat on and down the Potomac with my Mercury outboard. I was a bit nervous taking my boat out into the middle of the river with an engine. There were no major issues except when a black trash bag in the water wrapped around the engine prop. We had to stop the boat in the open and I had to de-tangle the engine in the frigid water.

There was a plus to this day, it was in the upper 50's in late December, a week before Christmas. We didn't wear gloves or winter hats!

We cruised down river with ease. The winds were coming from the north west at about 10mph. The trip down to Blue Plains was took about half an hour.

What is Blue Plains you ask? It is D.C's sewer water treatment plant. All the sewage goes into the plant and is cleaned and processed somehow and is then dumped back into the Potomac. I've heard about this place for years. The water is discharged into the Potomac crystal clear and warm. Thus you can see all of the fish that congregate there to warm up. You can only get there via boat.

We were not able to immediately find this warm water output. We first noticed something large on a rock sticking out. Turns out to be a huge bald eagle feasting on a fish.

The bird spooked and flew off.

We motored down and around the parking pier. A mondo huge carp lept out of the water next to our boat and made a huge splash.

We dropped anchor below the pier and started to fish. The wind was picking up. We saw several gizzard shad moving around. 

 We pulled up the anchor to try and find the warm water discharge. We dropped anchor below the big treatment building.

 The water was stained from the recent rainstorms. We did not get to experience the clear water. We found where the water was bubbling up. The entire area smelled like a combination of a fish market x port a potty x cheap bathroom aerosol spray.
 Dale foul hooked a gizzard shad. Before long the wind picked up to 25mph. I was having trouble tossing an 8wt with a 10wt sink tip line. It was getting a bit scary out there. Throw in the fact that we are in a boat for the first time down here, I made the call and after only 20 minutes of fishing we pulled anchor and motored back up river. I was in the stern and was getting splashed by all the waves coming over.

There is not a whole lot of information on fly fishing at Blue Plains. I hope to further my research and share images and video for you here. Stay tuned. Learning to fish there is a work in progress.


It would be very nice of you if you share some links to other sources that carry info on this theme if you happen to know any of them.

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